Remove Styling Gel from Hair Without Washing: 11 Easy Ways

How to Remove Styling Gel from Hair Without Washing

We all know that styling gel can be a lifesaver when it comes to creating the perfect hairdo. However, when it’s time to remove the gel from your hair, you might not always want to resort to a full wash.

Maybe you’re short on time, or perhaps you’re concerned about keeping your hair healthy by washing it less frequently. Whatever the reason, there are indeed ways to remove styling gel from your hair without actually washing it.

In this article, you’ll discover that removing styling gel from your hair without washing is not only possible but also easier than you might think. Whether using home remedies or employing some specific techniques, these methods will leave your hair feeling clean and fresh, ready for your next styling adventure.

Why Do We Need to Remove Hair Gel

It’s important to remove styling gel from your hair to maintain the health and appearance of your hair. Excess gel buildup can weigh down your hair, causing it to look greasy and lack volume.

Additionally, excess gel can lead to the formation of gel flakes. These unsightly flakes might be mistaken for dandruff and give an unkempt appearance.

Getting rid of gel flakes is essential for keeping your hair looking clean and fresh. Over time, gel buildup can also cause your hair to become dry and brittle, making it more prone to breakage.

This is especially true for stronger hold gels, such as Gorilla Snot gel, which can have both positive and negative effects on your hair.

To maintain the overall health and appearance of your hair, it’s crucial to remove styling gel regularly. You can do this by carefully washing your hair, or use one of the tips below to remove the gel without washing it.

How to Remove Styling Gel from Your Hair Without Washing

There are lots of ways to remove gel out of your hair without washing it. For the tips below you might need a couple of things that you normally already have at home. Let’s dive in the methods to remove the gel!

1. Use a Comb or brush

First, consider using a comb or a brush that can effectively detangle your hair and remove excess gel. A wide-tooth comb can be particularly helpful for this purpose, as it gently combs through your hair without causing breakage.

If you have curly or wavy hair, a wide-tooth comb is ideal as it minimizes frizz while still tackling any tangles.

If you prefer a brush, a boar bristle brush would work well in this situation. Boar bristles are great for distributing natural oils throughout your hair, which can help remove some of the styling gel build-up.

It is gentle on your strands and provides a good amount of control when brushing through your hair.

different kinds of combs

2. Use paper towels

Another item you might find helpful in removing excess hair gel is paper towels. You can use paper towels to gently blot away any excess styling gel from your hair.

Be careful however not to rub your hair with the paper towel as this can create frizz and damage your strands. Instead, press the paper towel against your hair gently, allowing it to absorb some of the gel build-up.

paper towels

3. Make use of a dry shampoo

Using a dry shampoo is a popular way to absorb excess gel and oil from your hair. Just spray it onto your roots, wait a few minutes for it to absorb, and then brush it out gently. Dry shampoo not only removes gel residue but also revives your hair by adding volume.

dry shampoo

4. Use baby powder or cornstarch

Not many people know this, but you can use baby powder or cornstarch to remove hair gel out of your hair. Baby powder or cornstarch are both great alternatives to dry shampoo.

Gently massage a small amount of either product into your roots, allowing it to absorb the gel. After a few minutes, brush your hair thoroughly to remove the powder and any lingering gel particles.

Baby powder

5. Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be helpful in breaking down and removing gel residue from your hair. However, be cautious with this method, as it can potentially dry out your hair and scalp.

To use rubbing alcohol, apply a small amount to a cotton pad and gently dab it onto the areas with a gel build-up. After a few seconds, use a clean towel to wipe away the gel residue.

rubbing alcohol

6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

It might seem unconventional, but trust me. This works. Apple Cider vinegar is used in a wide variety of ways and as you might not expected, you can also use it to remove styling gel from your hair without washing it. How you ask?

You can create an apple cider vinegar rinse by combining equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and you’re ready to go (because you dilute the apple cider vinegar, you are not left with any acidic smell).

Spray the mixture onto your hair, gently massage it into your hair and scalp, focusing on the areas with more gel buildup. Allow it to sit for a minute or 2, and then rinse with cool water.

apple cider vinegar

7. Baking Soda

Another effective way to remove gel is to use baking soda.

Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. When done you can go and apply the mix to your hair. Make sure that you concentrate on areas with excess gel. Leave the paste on for a few minutes to break down the product, and then rinse your hair with cool water.

baking soda

8. Olive oil

Olive oil is also an excellent option for removing styling gel from your hair. Warm up a small amount of olive oil (be sure to not use a lot. Just use a tiny bit!) and massage it into your hair and scalp.

The oil will help break down the gel and make it easier to remove. You can then comb out the excess oil and gel from your hair, and proceed to style as desired.

olive oil

9. Aloe Vera & jojoba oil

Aloe vera and jojoba oil are other natural alternatives that can help you get rid of hair gel without washing. Both of these ingredients have hydrating properties that will nourish your hair and help break down the gel.

You can either use the pure aloe vera gel or mix it with jojoba oil. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it in for 10-15 minutes before rinsing or combing out.

aloe vera

10. Use a blowdryer

As you might’ve guessed, the blow dryer is going to break down the gel by using heat. It’s really simple:

Simply grab the blow dryer and put it on low to medium heat (we won’t want to damage your hair so be careful with the heat settings).

Start working on your hair and use your fingers to work out the excess gel that is in your hair now that the hair gel is softened due to the heat.

Personally I don’t use this method because I’m in a phase where I want to avoid heat elements on my hair. 

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to use a blow dryer, but you have to be cautious. 

Use this method as a kind of last resort. When all else fails, you can try this one!

woman holding blow dryers

11. Use water

I know that this sounds counter-intuitive. We constantly talking about not washing your hair and here I am recommending that you use water. Hear me out please.

I know that a full hair wash is not something you want to do (otherwise you wouldn’t be here). And I want you to know that I’m not asking you to put your hair under water for a couple of minutes.

Instead, do this: Grab a spray bottle and fill it with water. Spritz your hair lightly with water just enough to make it damp.

When the gel is wet and you feel that it’s not sticky anymore, you can use your fingers to work out the gel.

After you’ve removed the excess styling gel, you can use a towel (or paper towels) to dry your hair and style it again. You can also simply let it air dry and style as needed later.


Remember, these non-washing methods should not replace regular hair washing, but rather be used as a temporary solution when you’re in a rush or unable to wash your hair. Keep your hair healthy and clean by washing it regularly and thoroughly.

How to get the gel out of your hair it you do want to wash it?

So, now you know how to remove hair styling gel from your hair without washing. But what if that wasn’t enough and the gel is still in your hair (I can’t imagine it still being in your hair, but just to be sure). What to do then?

Then it is time to properly wash your hair. As said earlier. Don’t treat the above ways to remove the excess gel as ways to never have to wash your hair again. You just don’t want to “over-wash” your hair.

So, here is a way you can properly wash your hair to get the gel out and everything you need to think about.

When you want to remove styling gel from your hair without “over-washing”, it’s essential to follow a proper washing routine. Using the right products and methods will help maintain your hair’s health and appearance. Here are some tips to help you achieve that.

First, wet your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. This will help loosen any gel residue, making it much easier to remove during washing. Temperature does play a role here, as using water that’s too hot can cause your hair to become dry and more challenging to manage.

Next, apply a generous amount of clarifying shampoo to your hair. This type of shampoo is specifically designed to remove product buildup, including styling gel. Gently massage the shampoo into your hair and scalp, focusing on areas where the gel is most concentrated. Be sure to rinse thoroughly.

As an added measure, you might want to consider washing your hair twice with the clarifying shampoo. This ensures that all traces of styling gel are removed. Remember to rinse very well after each wash to avoid any shampoo buildup.

After using a clarifying shampoo, it’s essential to apply a conditioner to restore moisture lost during washing. However, avoid applying conditioner to your roots, as this can weigh your hair down and potentially cause more buildup. Focus on applying conditioner to the ends of your hair, where it’s needed most.

To prevent the frequent use of styling gel from damaging your hair, you can also incorporate regular hair washing with a gentle shampoo. This will help keep your hair clean and healthy in between uses of clarifying shampoos.

In summary, properly washing your hair with clarifying shampoo and conditioner can effectively remove styling gel without causing unnecessary harm. Follow these guidelines to maintain your hair’s health and appearance while keeping it free from product buildup.

Keeping your hair healthy after the gel is out of your hair

As you read above, removing styling gel from your hair without washing it can sometimes be quite tricky. Removing styling gel from your hair without washing can be quite tricky, but what to do when the gel is out of your hair and you want to keep your hair healthy?

When it comes to maintaining your hair’s health post-gel removal, there are a few simple steps to keep in mind:

  • Limit your use of heat styling tools like flat irons, curling wands, and hair dryers, as excessive heat can further damage your hair.
  • Make sure to trim your hair regularly to get rid of split ends and promote healthy growth.
  • Nourish your hair from within by eating a balanced diet, rich in nutrients like protein, biotin, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

It’s also essential to pay attention to how often you’re using styling gel or other hair products. Overdoing it can lead to a buildup on your scalp, which can cause issues like dandruff or even hair loss. Remember to give your hair a break and go for a few days without using any products to help maintain good hair health.

By following these tips and being mindful of how you treat your hair, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy mane even after removing styling gel without washing.

Preventing Future Buildup

As said, you might be better off not using products every-single-day. But I also know that some (or most) people have a hard time doing that for a variety of (valid) reasons.

You now know that frequent usage of a gel can lead to product buildup, making your hair look dull and weighed down. To avoid this, follow a few simple tips to keep your hair healthy and free from buildup.

First, opt for lighter, water-soluble styling products like water-soluble hair gels. These products are less likely to cause buildup and can be easily rinsed out with water. Additionally, they are gentler on your hair, allowing you to maintain your style without compromising hair health.

Be mindful of how much product you use. Applying excessive amounts of styling products is a surefire way to cause build-up. Always start with a small amount and increase it if needed. This way, you’ll avoid overburdening your hair while achieving your desired look.

Make sure to clarify your hair regularly to remove any lingering buildup. Use a clarifying shampoo or natural cleansing agents like lemon, lime, or apple cider vinegar once a week or once every two weeks, depending on your hair type and lifestyle. This step will help your hair stay clean and healthy.

Incorporating these suggestions into your hair care routine can significantly reduce the chances of future product build-up. Remember, moderation is the key when using styling products, and prioritizing the health of your hair is essential for maintaining its beauty.

Additional Tips and Precautions

When removing styling gel from your hair without washing, it’s essential to keep some additional tips and precautions in mind to ensure the process goes smoothly and maintains the health of your hair.

First and foremost, cleanliness is important when managing your hair. Make sure to use clean tools, including combs, brushes, and towels, to avoid transferring any bacteria or dirt onto your hair while attempting to remove the gel.

For those with sensitive scalps, it’s crucial to perform a patch test before trying out any new removal methods or products, as this can help identify any potential adverse reactions. Consistency with brands is also key, as different products might react differently to your hair or scalp. So, whenever possible, stick to a product line you trust and have had good results with in the past.

When dealing with alcohol-based gel, it’s essential to pay extra attention to how it affects your hair and scalp, as the presence of alcohol can sometimes lead to dryness. Make sure to follow up with a moisturizer, oil, or leave-in conditioner if needed to maintain your hair’s health and avoid any damage.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional stylist or friends with experience removing styling gel without washing. Their input and advice can provide valuable insights that can help you navigate through the process safely and effectively. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your hair.

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